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Overview of second session
March 16, 2011 - Jessica Collier
We also saw overwhelming support for the ACR in the second session of today's legislative hearing. This one was a little different. We had quite a few regular Tupper Lakers and local business owners, but we also had both of Tupper Lake's representatives in state government — Sen. Betty Little and Assemblywoman Janet Duprey — stop in, some former town and village officials, a former APA chairman, a bevy of Realtors and several children, two of whom spoke directly and a group of whom lined up in front of the podium while school district Superintendent Seth McGowan was speaking.
Adirondack Council Executive Director Brian Houseal, whose name I for some reason forgot how to spell while he was speaking, and Dan Plumley of Adirondack Wild both spoke, too — the main people who spoke this evening who had concerns about the project. Plumley tried to tell a distrusting audience that they were all there for the same thing — because they care about Tupper Lake. Then he listed all the concerns he had about the resort and said that if it isn't changed, the APA should have no choice but to turn down a permit. Audience members grumbled and called out for him to stop speaking and leave at points through his speech, and at then end, the boo's led Judge O'Connell to pound his gavel and call for order. Next up was Houseal, who tried to distance the Council from the other environmental organizations involved, saying it supports the project, but it has a few concerns it wants looked at first. Crowd members didn't boo him, but they weren't particularly supportive of him, either.
While all the supporters this afternoon expressed unequivocal support, several this evening said they definitely support the project, but they want to make sure it's done responsibly. It's a subtle but significant difference in the ACR conversation.
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